• Miles of uncrowded white sandy beaches extend to the horizon, separating the clear blue ocean and undulating grass-covered dunes.

    Fire Island

    National Seashore New York

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day

    Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »

  • Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures

    Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »

  • Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers

    Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.

Threatened and Endangered Species

Since 1986, Fire Island National Seashore-together with other federal, state, and local governments, volunteers, and private organizations-has been preserving and monitoring critical habitats and open spaces for the protection of threatened and endangered shorebirds and coastal plants.

Birds
Two federally listed threatened and endangered (T & E) bird species are known to nest within Fire Island National Seashore. The piping plover (Charadrius melodus) is on the federal threatened and New York State endangered list. The roseate tern (Sterna dougallii) is federally and state endangered. The state-listed threatened least tern (Sternula antillarum) and the common tern (Sterna hirundo) also nest on Fire Island. The black skimmer (Rhynchops niger) and the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) are bird species of special concern in New York State.

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was officially removed from the federally threatened list on August 8, 2007. Eagles continue to be protected by the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Bald eagles are occasionally sighted in the national seashore. Its presence is recorded during the annual fall hawk watch by Fire Island Raptor Enumerators (FIRE) near the Fire Island Lighthouse.

 

Reptiles and Amphibians
Of more than 30 species of reptiles (turtles and snakes) and amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders) known to live within or visit Fire Island National Seashore, five are listed as New York State endangered species or species of special concern,

  • Eastern Mud Turtle (historically common; now uncommon; NY State endangered species)
  • Spotted Turtle (historically common; now uncommon; NY State species of special concern)
  • Eastern Box Turtle (common; NY State species of special concern)
  • Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (historically abundant; now rare; NY State species of special concern)
  • Southern Leopard Frog (historically abundant; now extirpated; NY State species of special concern)

Threatened and endangered sea turtles and marine mammals occasionally visit Fire Island.

 

Plants
The seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus) is a federally threatened annual plant species that grows on some of Fire Island National Seashore's beaches. Symbolic fencing is also installed for the protection of seabeach amaranth on the beach.

The seabeach knotweed (Polygonum glaucum) is a New York State rare plant that can be found on Fire Island.

 

Fire Island National Seashore's piping plover monitoring and protection program begins in March with a restriction on driving, pets and kites on portions of the beach. Symbolic fencing is installed to mark suitable plover habitat.

As nests are established, exclosures are constructed to protect both nest and eggs. After the chicks have fledged, restrictions on pets and kites are lifted, but the symbolic fencing is left in place for the protection of beach plants.

You Can Help

  • Respect fenced areas and stay clear of bird nesting areas.
  • Where they are permitted, always keep dogs leashed.
 

Stranded Marine Animals
Occasionally, a threatened or endangered species will wash ashore, where it may be rescued or recovered by the Riverhead Foundation, one of Fire Island National Seashore's partner organizations. Cold-stunned sea turtles are particularly vulnerable.

Riverhead Foundation's
24-hour Stranding Hotline 631-369-9829

Did You Know?

Man reads interpretive sign in front of remnants of brick foundation.

The first Fire Island Lighthouse was built at the end of Fire Island in 1826. Today, the Fire Island Inlet is more than five miles west of this foundation. You can see the remnants of the first structure when you visit the present lighthouse, constructed in 1858. More...